Saturday, April 25, 2015

Embroidered Churn Dash

Another quilt done! This has just come out of the dryer and is so soft and cozy.  It's a little puffy do to my hand quilting without a hoop or frame, but I'm happy with it overall. I really enjoyed picking out the fabrics and floss colors, and doing the embroidery. I've got another quilt that I'm anxious to start quilting, but I'm determined to finish some PhDs (projects half done.) As usual, there is not enough time!

The weather this week has been cool (with frosts) and today was rainy. It's driving me crazy! I need some warm, sunny days to work in the gardens.  There is a lot to do and I'm itching to start planting. I find it very hard to go to work on nice days now. Do any of you feel like that too? (I saw on the Weather Channel that next week is going to be nice. Maybe I'll get sick:)

We went to a new antique store (the prices were really good!) and bought a couple of things to use in the yard. One is an old hand pump that Rick is going to make into a water fountain. I'll share pictures soon.

Thanks for visiting me and have a great Sunday!  

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Getaway

After reading about Eureka Springs, AR in the March issue of Victoria magazine, we decided that a road trip was in order. I made reservations at one of about a million B&Bs there and then realized it was the one featured in the magazine! It was so romantic and cozy. I didn't get a good photo of it, but you can get a little idea of the outside here:

 the breakfast room:

and our room:

There was a fireplace, jacuzzi, and fresh flowers and chocolates every day. We felt so pampered!

It was our first time in Eureka Springs. The town was settled in the late 1800's for the mineral springs and so there are beautiful old Victorian homes and hotels. The downtown is in a valley and the homes climb up the hillsides. Some are perched on rocky walls. There was a huge rainstorm while we were there and we were afraid we would wash away! (As it turned out, the Main Street did flood and had to be closed off. Glad we didn't go out that night:)

There were many things to do and the weather was warm and sunny. We went to a Big Cat rescue facility:

A funky house built of rocks from the area, Quigley's Castle:

The woman who built this house had an obsession with rocks and nature. All the garden ornaments and buildings were covered in rocks, minerals, fossils and shells. Very interesting!

We also visited Thorncrown Chapel:

hiked in the woods:

and of course, explored the shops, restaurants, the springs, and old houses.

This goes down to one of the springs. Rick said it looks like the stairway to hell!

We were so glad went took the time to explore another part of the country. It was a beautiful area and we met some interesting and friendly people. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Afternoon

Jasper, Tad, and Klaus (What a funny look on his face:)

Have I said how fun it is to have grandchildren? Well, it is!!! We had such a good time watching Tad hunt for eggs and playing with the twins. Aren't they adorable? We had a yummy ham dinner, and then just hung out in the yard, enjoying one of the first warm days. As usual we missed Justin, but he called and we planned on having a nice long chat later this week. (It's kind of fun having adult children too!)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Swap 2015

I just had to share pictures of the goodies I received from Jeannie ( for the swap hosted by Vivian ( ).

Such cute baskets and chicks. And just look at that lovely vintage egg!

She included so many pretties that I can use in my decorating. I love that flower on the burlap bag. And the crocheted gloves. Thanks Jeannie!

I just got an email from Jeannie telling me that she got the package I sent her. Here is a sampling of the stuff she got. I just love doing these swaps and coming up with ideas of things to make (and searching Pinterest:)

I got this stamp set from Taylored Expressions and they are so much fun to color. I've been making a bunch of tags and had to include a few in Jeannie's basket. Maybe she can use them on Easter gifts.

I hope everyone is having a great week and getting ready for a lovely Easter. I have to finish planning our meal (what to have for dessert?) and do some shopping. Oh, it was so warm today and we finally got some daffodils to bloom. I love spring!!! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Knitting Redo

I found this really cute sweater on Pinterest and thought it would be easy enough for me to tackle. I'm still not very confidant in my knitting skills and as it turned out, rightly so. The pattern took 4 rows and wasn't too hard once I got the hang of it. I started in with this pretty yarn called Mushroom Wool-Ease by Lion Brand. I got up to the color change and continued with the blue. Then came binding off for the armholes. Well, guess what? I could not figure out what stitch to do once the decreasing started. I messed with it for a few days and then put it away for another few. What to do?
And then I said, "s**** it!" And I took it all out and started over!

I'm using the super easy moss stitch which works out very similar to the other one. (Not sure what it was called. It had a "knit 1 below"  in it.) And I know that I can continue it when the decreasing starts. Yeah! I'm really enjoying the knitting and I'm already planning the next sweater. Of course I won't be wearing this one until next fall - it will take me awhile to finish. And I've got quilting and gardening coming up. Now if I could just quit my job.....

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Drying Rose Petals

I really enjoyed those roses Rick got me for Valentine's Day. But right before they were completely done, I decided to dry the petals. I will add them to the flowers I'll dry this summer for some pretty, fragrant potpourri.

When I have a lot of flowers or herbs to dry I get out the dehydrator. But since I had just a small amount of petals, I put them on a cookie sheet and popped them into a slightly warm oven. It doesn't take long for them to get crispy dry and ready to put into a jar.

Here are a couple of half gallon jars with dried larkspur and lemon verbena from last summer. I also like to dry gomphrena, yarrow, tansy, calendula, nigella, and lavender.

This is just a small amount of the lavender I have. I seem to have many jars of it all over the house. It has so many uses and I can never harvest enough. Though I just remembered that I had to put in all new lavender plants last spring after losing so many the previous winter. I hope I get a good harvest this year.

This is what I got from JoAnn's the other day. Isn't it pretty? I thought about putting the rose petals in it, but then decided it would be great filled with small Easter eggs. I'll be getting that stuff out soon. What about you? Ready for spring and Easter decorating? I sure am! (Especially since we just got 4 more inches of snow:(

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Spring Ritual

It's that time of year again. The time when I can't wait to play in the garden, but it's still winter. So the next best thing (besides looking through every garden book and magazine I own:) is starting seeds.

First I plant a few perennials. I really don't need much as the borders are pretty packed. But there are always new ones to try or in this case, plants to replace those I inevitably lose each year. These are
Carnival hollyhocks, a single variety. I also planted soapwort, bellis, and mallow.

Above are some cobaea scandens, or cup and saucer vine. I guess I didn't realize when I first planted the seeds how quickly they would come up and how big they would get right away. I'm going to have a jungle in our basement before I can get these babies outside!

I used a new method for labeling my seeds. I got the idea for using clothespins from Elaine at Why didn't I think of this years ago???

In a couple of weeks I'll start planting annuals, both flowers and vegetables. I'm excited to try some new varieties of  heirloom tomatoes. And then spring planting will come!